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1984 Suntracker Party Barge 24ft Rebuild

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kmrowe1 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 11/26/2012 at 2:34pm
Hi fellow Pontoon People!
 
My husband bought a pontoon boat about 5 years ago to use as a "barge" basically while he was remodeling our lake cabin.  It sort of got trashed and we really weren't even going to keep it past using it for hauling things across the lake while constructing our cabin.  Once we were done and we still had the boat I did my best to clean it up and make it look pretty and once we started using it as it should be used we were like "HEY...this thing is a blast!"  I also would like to mention that we live on the Missouri River here in Great Falls, Montana and there is nothing like taking an evening cruise up the river and having a nice BBQ with friends and family.  So...long story short, we found this wonderful site, read through some of the other rebuilds and decided to do our own.  We have just started the tear down and I wanted to share some pictures of what we started with and our journey through the rebiuild.  ENJOY!!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PS-Guy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/26/2012 at 3:17pm
Welcome!  That pontoon boat is actually in amazing shape for it's age!  I can't wait  to see your progress, keep those pictures coming!
Feel free to contact me for help on your project!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kmrowe1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/26/2012 at 7:03pm
Well...the tear down has gone pretty quickly.  Everything is stripped off now except the plywood and that's next.  We are contemplating on getting marine grade plywood or just the treated plywood.  It basically lasts 100 years and this boat doesn't sit in the water all year and we live in a very dry climate.  Any thoughts or opinions on that?
 
 
 
 
OK...WHO was cheating??
 
 
 
 
Glad I don't have to lable all of that!! YIKES
 
 
Should have some more pictures tomorrow.  We are racing the weather here in Montana.  it could be 60 deg one day and 2 feet of snow the next!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Liquid Asset Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/26/2012 at 7:32pm
   Thats a nice looking project you have there . As far as plywood goes I would try and get the marine if you can. It is higher quality with more plys, drier and lays flatter than treated making it easier to work with. The main down fall with using treated is the fact that the new stuff is so corrosive. With it in direct contact of aluminum it can eat it up pretty fast. This topic of what wood to use has been debated on the site many times. If you do go with regular treated I would seal the wood as well as isolate it from the aluminum tape or a sealant. You'll also need stainless or coated fastners to keep them from getting eaten as well. Good luck and keep the pics heading our way we love seeing new projects especially this time of year !!!
 
             , shaun
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote p3cflyr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/26/2012 at 8:33pm
I would only use marine CCA treated plywood.  And always SS screws or bolts.  Do put the sealing tape over the aluminum cross members where the Plywood joints will be (I think its good to use it on top of each cross member).
Mike

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kmrowe1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/27/2012 at 12:17am
I brought it back up with the hubby and he said, "you know what...that's absolutely right, I totally forgot about that." So we are going with the marine grade.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PS-Guy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/27/2012 at 8:12am
Good choice Wink  Check out this short thread on the subject:

http://www.pontoonboatforum.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=7310&title=should-i-use-bargan-wood-for-my-redeck

Just another reason to go with Marine Grade CCA Pontoon Decking.
Feel free to contact me for help on your project!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TN RIVER RAT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/28/2012 at 11:51am
i have/had the same boat. I overhauled it last winter with the help of Pontoonstuff.com. Great bunch of people to work with. I only wish I could find a stopping point on accessorizing it.Big smile  It is very addicting when it all starts coming together. Feel free to ask any question here. If it weren't for this site, I would still be wondering how to do things correctly.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kmrowe1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/03/2012 at 3:35pm
Well it's time for an update.  We have the marine wood assembled and bolted down to the frame and it's time to lay the carpet.  The weather has turned a bit cooler so the hubby has the boat backed into the garage as far as it will go, a tarp over the opening since the door can't go down the boats so long, and the wood fireplace going.  It's actually pretty toasty inside there.  Hopefully it will stay warm enuogh for the glue to dry properly.
 
In the mean time, we are starting to figure out the quickest and easiest way to remove the dacals from the aluminium.  That should be fun!
 
Here are some more shots.
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kmrowe1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/06/2012 at 9:09pm

Another update for you all.  We have the carpet all glued on and it looks great. We kept the boat in the garage for two days and kept the wood burning stove going and it was a balmy 68 degrees the whole time.  Worked like a charm.

 
Now we are removing the decals from the aluminium so we can repaint.  The hubby found the best product to get it all off.  It's called Klean-strip Premium Sprayable Stripper.  He bought it at Home Depot.  It comes with a spray bottle and he sprayed it on the decals, waited 15 minutes, and it scraped off with no problem at all.  He had all of the decals stripped off in an hour and a half.  No elbow grease at all!
 
Heres a picture of the product:


Edited by kmrowe1 - 12/06/2012 at 9:10pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kmrowe1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/08/2012 at 3:39pm
We are now looking at paint to paint the aluminium.  We are going with a nice blue, not repeating the baby $hit brown that was already on there...haha.  I have a question though.  Our boat will only be on lakes and fresh water...it's never going to hit the ocean.  Do we need to use special marine paint, or can we use car paint?  We aren't sure so any advice anyone out there has would be great!  THANKS!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Liquid Asset Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/08/2012 at 4:25pm
  When I originally painted my fence panels I used valspar impliment paint from TSC. I cut the paint with mineral spirits ( per the directions) to help it flow, and I also used their enamal hardner to really speed up the dry time and make the paint more durable. When I reskined the pannels I had planned on painting again but decided to do the vinly wrap instead. It went alot faster than painting so that is another option you could try. When I painted my pontoons I used rustoleum marine paint/primer with the same procedures as above. Both of the paints are inexpensive and will give good results if you take your time and do a good prep job.
 
       Good luck ,shaun
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Hello, i'm new to the forum. Stumbled across this thread, i'm actually doing the same project on the exact same boat. Minus our seats or configured a little different. Same ugly *hit brown and all LOL. Looking forward to updates as well,i'll start a thread on our boat maybe tomorrow though i jumped the gun and tore it apart before really taking many pictures. Your guys boat looks good so far!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kmrowe1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/15/2013 at 3:24pm
I realize I haven't updated in awhile but I'm going to use the holidays as an excuse. We have a hunting cabin up in Lincoln, MT we like to spend some time at also so that takes us away every now and then. Anyways...ahhh, so much has been done. The hubby has been working his little toosh off and I've been neglectful of getting the updates up. Today he left for a month for his job as a commercial diver so the project is on hold till he gets back from the lovely Gulf of Mexico.

The last you saw we stripped all the decals off the boat. Now here are some photos of what has happened since.

After the decals were removed, we wet sanded everything to get it all nice and smooth




Then we used an etching primer to cover up all the spots where there was bare aluminum showing. Here is a shot of what it looked like and the product we used.


Then MORE sanding....and the primer coat was applied.



Then MORE sanding...and the primer sealer coat was applied.


Then MORE sanding...and the paint was applied. We put on 3 coats.


Then 2 coats of clear coat was applied. Just need to remove all the tape now.


I love the color. Montana State Bobcat Blue!!! GO CATS!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Barnmb7117 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/15/2013 at 4:03pm
Smile I like the blue also. It is coming along nice.
Mike
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NICE!!!  Clap
Feel free to contact me for help on your project!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kmrowe1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/17/2013 at 8:56pm
Time for an update. We decided that we didn't want a front deck that was quite so big but we still wanted enough to have room to sit and fish or jump off and play and to put the coolers. So, we cut the front sections in two and extended them out 20 inches. Then we welded new aluminum tubing to connect the two pieces and riveted in some new aluminum paneling, covered up the seams and once its all polished up and painted you wont even be able to tell. This gave us a little more room inside the boat.

Here is the left side section cut into two pieces.


Here is the aluminum tubing welded in to connect the two pieces together.


Here is a shot after the aluminum paneling was riveted in and the seams covered. You can still see where the railing was welded a bit in the picture but once its polished up you wont be able to tell.


Next the low railings that go around the front end of the boat will be modified since they wont need to be as long on either side
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote skyzepplin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/17/2013 at 10:06pm
like that idea....hmmm  have to think about that one
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kmrowe1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/18/2013 at 12:34pm
Here is a shot of the front deck railing. You can see its considerably shorter than it is in the very first picture in the thread. Its shortened by 20 inches. Still plenty deep enough to be of good use though :-)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MRT24 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/18/2013 at 5:28pm
That's exactly what I did on my rails except I was just removing a gate. I have been thinking lately about moving my railing all the way to the front and closing off the front porch though!



Can't even tell there was a gate there now

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kmrowe1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/18/2013 at 8:15pm
Wow that looks great. In the end we are basically going to be blocking off the passenger side door too because we are putting in a sink and a fridge with a little counter. I think we are just going to leave the door put though. Maybe doing what you did is a better idea...cleaner looking. Although, we have already painted the whole back section of the boat and the two doors. Now we just need to paint all the forward sections.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kmrowe1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/19/2013 at 4:18pm
One of the things we want to add to the boat that was not there before is a sundeck on the back. We want to enclose the gas tanks and the batteries below the sundeck. Just wondering how to start building those and the best way to do it. Right now the tanks sit on platforms on the back and are strapped down. If we enclose them under the sundeck, how do you refuel? Don't want to have to lift them in and out. Looking for ideas of what other people have done.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kmrowe1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/19/2013 at 4:44pm
Here is what the back end of our boat looks like now

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VaGent Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/19/2013 at 4:55pm
There are several ways to go about doing it. Take a look at my "1984 JC Rebuild & go towards the end of the posts & look at the fence I built & added to accommodate my sundeck/enclosure. You will need to find a side mounted gas filler connection & run gas hose to the tanks from it if you don't want to lift the tanks up from inside. Not much other choice really to choose from. Look at other people's rebuilds & see what you can come up with too. Again, there are several different ways to do it but I choose my way for several different reasons. I"m not finished with mine  yet but you can see from I have done so far & maybe get some ideas. I"m saying you have to do it this way as I did it for various other reasons which includes a "privacy room" for the porta-poti. Let us know what you come up as I'm sure many others would be interested in seeing your ideas. Hopes this helps out in what you decide to do.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TN RIVER RAT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/19/2013 at 4:57pm
One option would be to buy a permanent fuel tank and install it on one side with a filler cap/vent on the exterior panel and then put your batteries on the other side for weight and balance.
Another option is replacing the transom with one that has a built in fuel tank with a filler cap/vent routed to where it is more accessible. This option provides more storage space under your sundeck.
 
Just my $.02 worth.
 
Mitch "TN RIVER RAT"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kmrowe1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/19/2013 at 5:00pm
The problem we are running into is if you look at the back end, the rails are rounded...they aren't at a 90 degree angle s whatever we do we are going to have to retrofit the boxes to marry up to the rounded corners. Nothing comes easy. haha
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VaGent Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/19/2013 at 5:07pm
After looking at the pics you posted of your pontoon I think the easiest thing to do would be take the engine & transom off the boat & ADD new stringers across the stern like I did mine. Install new plywood & carpet & then re-install the transom so it sits BEHIND the logs. Several advantages to doing this is 1) you gain deck space under the sundeck 3) you can add fencing to support the sundeck 4) you put the engine further behind the logs thereby allowing to operate in "clean" water 5)you can space to put the gas tank & battery too. You can fabricate a case filler or have one made or possibly find one online that allows you to fill the gas tank from outside the fence thereby not having to lift gas cans under the sundeck. This would also allow you to have storage space under the sundeck for little things OR you could also elect to put a porta-potti  under the sundeck & have it hinged for easy access just on one side. LOTS of ways to do it but since your engine is "inset" like it is, unless you could find some "U" shaped fencing it's gonna be a little difficult to do. I built mine myself & did all the work other then having the new fence welded together. There are probably LOTS of other ideas folks have so just search out other pontoons & see what you come up with. Check with pontoon stuff & see if they have "U" shaped fencing available as that would most likely be the easiest way to go.
Les
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1993 Voyager 24ft Pontoon
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Barnmb7117 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/19/2013 at 11:15pm
I like the color of your fence panel. Was it hard to bend the curves?
Mike
1993 Tracker fishing barge 21
2015 Evinrude pontoon series 90 hp
Summer - On the wolf River Weyauwega, WI
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kmrowe1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/22/2013 at 1:20am
Actually this is the way the boat was when we bought it. It was already curved...we just painted the existing aluminum paneling.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chilidawg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/27/2013 at 1:46pm

You are doing a very nice job.  I just started redoing the exact same boat.  I moved my transom back and am putting my deck all the way to the back giving a total of about 22' of deck space.  My new deck is 1" Nida-Core and will hopefully be going on this weekend.  It's about a quarter of the weight of ply and won't rot.  I'm trying to decide if I want a big lounger on the back with swim deck or the same thing you're thinking of.  I like what you did with the railing.  Looking forward to more pics.

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